‘It is unfair to bore someone who doesn’t have the opportunity to bore you right back.’

Ever since I read Garrison Keillor’s short story, “The Poetry Judge,” in The Atlantic in 1996, this quotation has become one of my rules of thumb for judging good writing:

“Experience becomes literature when it no longer matters to the reader whether the story is true or not,” the narrator says.

“Self expression is not the point of it,” he continues. “We are not here on paper to retail our injuries. For one thing, it is unfair to bore someone who doesn’t have the opportunity to bore you right back…”

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1 Comment

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One response to “‘It is unfair to bore someone who doesn’t have the opportunity to bore you right back.’

  1. My great-grandmother was known for saying to her 9 (!) sons: “Just because I bore you xx years ago (insert age of adult son) doesn’t mean you can bore me now!

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